Diversity and inclusion are priorities for forward-thinking organisations that value difference and respect new ideas and opinions. A workplace utopia might include individuals with diversified views, experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds. Such a setting would hope to increase employee morale and engagement and lead to more rounded decision-making and better outcomes, preventing the organisation from stagnating.
Everyone in your company is responsible for inclusion, but leaders need to foster a culture of inclusion through training and ensure it is practised, not just promised.
Why is diversity and inclusion training important?
Protecting employees from discrimination: Employers must ensure their workplace is a safe space for all their employees, regardless of their gender, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, or ability. The best way to do this is to ensure everyone understands what behaviour is acceptable or not. Certain groups can still face discrimination and micro-aggressions, which can be hard to recognise.
Providing diversity and inclusion training will arm people with the information they need to call out such discrimination. It can also prove to your workforce that you understand how to be inclusive and that you are aiming for diversity in the workplace.
Improved employee value proposition: A company’s social value can influence someone’s decision to join it. If your ethos as a company includes treating everyone from different backgrounds with respect, you must demonstrate it, or a new hire may leave sooner than you might hope. Find out how to refresh your employee value proposition.
Improved employee retention: When employees feel that they are respected, valued, and receive support from management, they are more likely to stay in their positions longer. By investing in diversity training, employers can show that they care about their employee’s development and create an inclusive environment.
Increased potential for innovation: A diverse team of employees, from different backgrounds and with different perspectives, brings fresh ideas to the table. Increased diversity in the workplace encourages creativity and problem-solving like no other.
Community involvement: Diversity training promotes positive values within a business that can be extended out into the community at large. Companies are more likely to partner with diverse organisations when they have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Improved financial performance: Research suggests that companies with more diverse workforces tend to have better financial performance than those with less diversity in their ranks. By investing in diversity and inclusion training, organisations can become more attractive to investors and potential partners alike.
Enhanced reputation: Companies with a reputation for being inclusive and promoting diversity are more attractive to potential employees, partners and customers. Investing in diversity and inclusion training sends a powerful message that the company values all individuals regardless of their gender, race or background.
Improved morale: With an inclusive environment focussed on learning, appreciating and understanding each other’s differences, employees will feel appreciated and accepted for who they are. This leads to improved morale and job satisfaction, which can have a positive impact on the overall performance of the organisation.
Greater understanding: Developing an understanding among team members from different backgrounds increases communication and collaboration between them, leading to better outcomes for individual projects and for the company as a whole.
Reduced legal risk: Companies that fail to embrace diversity and inclusion can open themselves up to legal issues. Investing in diversity and inclusion training can help reduce the risk of discrimination lawsuits, as well as provide guidance on how best to comply with relevant laws.
Increased productivity: An inclusive workplace where different ideas are welcomed and valued leads to more engaged employees who are more productive and motivated, enabling the business to reach its goals more efficiently.
Talent acquisition: Companies that focus on diversity and inclusion attract a broader range of talent, giving them an edge over their competitors when it comes to filling positions with the best candidates.
Understanding how to use inclusive language in job adverts and how to be inclusive throughout the recruitment process will ensure you don’t make anyone feel unwelcome. Male-coded/gendered language such as being a ‘driven’, ‘competitive’, and ‘decisive’ can deter some women from applying to roles they would be perfectly able to do. ‘Cultural fit’ is a term that has been misappropriated to mean hiring people who are just like them. What it really means is that the company’s values are shared by the prospective employee.
Enhancing teamwork: Equality, diversity and inclusion training can help build trust between team members, leading to improved cooperation, collaboration and communication. This boosts productivity, creativity and morale among employees and can lead to higher customer satisfaction rates.
Increased customer loyalty: Customers are more likely to have a favourable view of companies that invest in diversity and inclusion training, as it shows that they value all kinds of people. With increased customer loyalty comes the potential for greater profit margins over time.
Diversity and inclusion training: benefits for workplace productivity and culture
Through diversity training, staff will discover how to bridge differences and recognise different perspectives, leading to a more cohesive and efficient team. Bias training, for example, can help employers identify and be mindful of their biases when hiring, so they don’t miss out on the best talent for the wrong reasons.
Improved diversity and inclusion can create an environment where employees understand the importance of civil conduct and are explicit in the expectations of their behaviour with one another, reducing conflicts and promoting a more robust company culture.
Diversity and inclusion in the technology sector is particularly pertinent as the sector struggles to attract and retain female workers and ethnically diverse communities. Initiatives, such as Reed’s Women in Technology Mentoring Programme, actively helps empower women to succeed in the industry through learning and mentorship, connecting people and raising their confidence in their field.
Every workplace should have an environment where employees feel empowered to share their different views, bringing fresh perspective to the table. By investing in your employees’ growth and development through a commitment to diverse and inclusive practices, you are making a wise investment in the future of your company.
Understanding the benefits of such training enables you to make informed decisions that promote sustainable growth and the overall success of your operation.
Watch our on-demand webinar ‘Inspiring change: championing inclusive leadership’ with a panel discussion by D&I experts on improving organisational culture.
If you’re looking for assistance with your equality, diversity and inclusion strategy – get in touch with one of our specialists today.